Chhutki has returned from school and
just finished her lunch. Her mother is relaxing in an armchair, reading a magazine.
Chhutki : Mother! Dipu didn't come to
school again today. I hear he is very ill. He was even in hospital for a few days.
Mother : Yes, Chhutki. We must
visit him tommorrow. He hasjaundice,
a bad liver infection, probably from drinking infected water somewhere . I hear
one of our neighbours has typhoid.
So, we must be careful and both kilss germs.
Chhutki :Yes, mother. Last weekend,
Lata's family had gone for a picnic to the riverside. They had great fun playing in the
water, but now , Lata has a rash all
over her body and her sister, Usha, has an eye infection. They too did not come to school
Mother : Then something must be wrong
with the water in the river.
Chhutki :You can be sure of that ,
mother. And, look at this article in today's paper (showing her mother the newspaper). It
says that hundreds of poor fish and turtles were found dead on the river bank in a
city nearby. They were poisoned by some chemicals in the water . That is so sad. Mother,
why do these things happen?
Mother : Because, Chhutki, many of
us don't seem to care any more about rivers and streams, forests and plants, animals and
birds, and for other people too.
Chhutki : I feel sorry that I can't
do anything about it.
Mother : Well! For a start, you are
concerned about these things. That's good! And, you have your school project to do - the
one on water pollution.
Chhutki : I haven't started on it
because I don't know where to start.
Mother : (Getting up and giving
Chhutki a few books and magazines she had kept aside.) Here, look through these. I
have kept them for you. I am sure you will find the pictures and stories. very
Chhutki : (Looking through the books .)
My goodness! Can this be posssible? This river is so beautiful but the other so dirty! All
because of pollution?
(Her mother goes off to another room to rest, leaving her to do her work. Chhutki picks up
her doll Baadshah and begins talking to it.) Dear Baadshah, I wish you could see these
pictures and read the stories- they are just unbelivable. If only I could do something to
(...she yawns, begins to fall asleep at the table where she sits.)